1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

guitarist learning bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by dynasty32, Oct 8, 2009.


  1. dynasty32

    dynasty32

    Jan 17, 2009
    I've been playing guitar for about 2 years or so, on and off. I want to play another instrument so i figure bass would be the easiest to play as I already play guitar.

    I have some questions... do bassists generally have their fretting thumb over the neck or behind it?
    Would I be able to benefit from songwriting skills if I learned bass?
    How fast could I learn to play songs and could i be able to learn songs like crossroads or the lemon song in a couple months?
    Pick or no pick?
     
  2. GaryM

    GaryM

    Jul 28, 2006
    Dundee, UK
    Behind.

    Any knowledge of music theory will help with learning any instrument.

    I've no idea.

    If it's one or the other then learn fingerstyle.
     
  3. jpfbass

    jpfbass

    Sep 28, 2009
    Chicago
    Agreed. Fingerstyle is a lot better because there are a lot more options of playing styles that stem from learning just that one style.
    Also, It's what true bassists use (no offense to people who use pick, but fingerstyle is home to the bass and the bass only).
     
  4. dinoplasty

    dinoplasty

    Sep 11, 2009
    you should learn all styles, including using a pick.

    use the style that best suits the sound for the song.
     
  5. A lot of 6 string guitarist will use the same right hand position they used with their 6 string. We are comfortable using this approach. The pick is up to you. I find I don't need it on the bass.

    As to playing songs. Understanding how to decide what baseline to use with this song is the first thing you have to get under your belt. We do not, right at first, play chords we play individual notes. We do not play melody right at first we play chord tones, i.e. a repetitive root or a riff of say R-5 or R-3-5-3 whatever. Using the same riff and changing the root as the chord progression changes.

    A basic root nothing and change the root as the chords change will get you started. So if you grab a root note and hold the beat and change with the chord changes you can play bass right away, how well ..... well that is another story.

    Give this a try and you tell me how long it takes you.

    Could not tell if you already have your bass. The bottom 4 strings on your 6 string are the same as the bass. Practice that chord progression I gave you on your 6 string. The bass is a simple instrument that will take the rest of your life to master.

    Good luck.
     
  6. PBass101

    PBass101

    Jul 3, 2008
    Illinois
    STOP.

    Do not take the same approach to playing bass as you do with guitar. It's a totally different instrument; respect it.

    Some bassists put thumb over the neck, some don't. Use whichever hand positions are comfortable for you.

    Crossroads and Lemon Song are not difficult basslines. You need to take your time and learn how to use the instrument to create music. Learn theory and train your ear. Don't just learn a bunch of tablature off the internet. Being able to regurgitate a handful of riffs doesn't make you a complete bass player.
     
  7. oi_pride

    oi_pride

    Jul 2, 2009
    concord, nc
    Endorsing Artist: Knucklehead Strings
    not true. finger picking was first used on guitar and the bass was played with a bow. picks are relatively new considering how old the guitar are bass are.

    Also, I play with both my fingers and a pick depending on what I'm playing. It is good to be well rounded, and you can get a different tone if you want.
     
  8. PBass101

    PBass101

    Jul 3, 2008
    Illinois
    This is the bass guitar forum, not the double bass forum.
     
  9. oi_pride

    oi_pride

    Jul 2, 2009
    concord, nc
    Endorsing Artist: Knucklehead Strings
    ok. but two things: one, until the electric bass was invented the double bass was just called a bass, and two, regardless of whether or not this is the double bass forum or not finger style was first played on guitar not the bass. so the statement that jpfbass made about finger style is incorrect.
     
  10. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    I saw Jimmy Page w/ The Black Crowes and their bass player (who is excellent) couldn't do justice to The Lemon Song.

    Your songwriting skills will help you know when the bass needs to support the song & when it needs to push the song in new directions.

    I play with a pick & fingerstyle. There's nothing worse than a fingerstyle snob (and I was one for years - stupid). (which, incidentally, orchestral players did too, it's called pizzicato)
     
  11. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    Actually, it was first played on an instrument that eventually evolved into what we now think of as a guitar. I don't know if the oldest examples known to us come from Ancient Greece or Ancient China or somewhere else, but I assure you the first instrument played finger style was not a "guitar."

    If you're going to be pedantic - go all the way.

    edit: man I sound like a jerk - no hard feelings dude.
     
  12. M0ses

    M0ses

    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    John Paul Jones is by far my favorite bass player, and I like to think that I can do a passable impression of the Lemon Song.
    I've been playing for seven years.

    You will soon realize (I hope), that being able to play bass technically well is only the half of being a bass player; figuring out what the heck you should play is probably harder, and takes a lot longer.

    P.S. fingerpicking was used first on lutes and other such harp-like stringed instruments, and used on guitar before picking. Bowing was used in basses before guitars, and probably on some middle east or far east stringed instrument first of all.

    Bowing on guitars was used first by Jimmy Page =P.
    I'm not even at all sure if that's true but he's the only one famous for it.
     
  13. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    LOL just don't tell him that Les Paul invented backwards echo - he gets upset if you mention that.
     
  14. M0ses

    M0ses

    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    LOL. Here's another fun fact - did you know Les Paul was not the inventor of the electric guitar?

    Rickenbacker corporation invented the electric guitar. It was a steel thingy-ma-bobber, but it was the real deal.

    Les Paul invented the solid-body guitar.
     
  15. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    HI

    Two totally different instruments with completely different roles and musical approaches. My suggestion would be to get some instruction from a local BASS teacher, not a guitarist

    Rob
     
  16. oi_pride

    oi_pride

    Jul 2, 2009
    concord, nc
    Endorsing Artist: Knucklehead Strings
    no by all means be a jerk. the best arguments are made that way.

    and the guitar has roots in asia and they are of the same family as the sitar. but the point i was trying to make is that "fingerstyle is not home to the bass and the bass only", and i'm not that pedantic, it was just a point i was trying to make.
     
  17. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    It's all good.

    Now on to the important questions - if Rickenbacker invented the Electric Guitar and Les Paul (RIP) invented the solid body and Sitar players were doing finger style since before time... who invented the plectrum?
     
  18. oi_pride

    oi_pride

    Jul 2, 2009
    concord, nc
    Endorsing Artist: Knucklehead Strings
    i'm not sure who invented the pick but the word plectrum has roots in greek and latin.
     
  19. oi_pride

    oi_pride

    Jul 2, 2009
    concord, nc
    Endorsing Artist: Knucklehead Strings
    oh and i propose a question. if the pick was invented to pluck the strings like a finger, then why are there so many bassist that are hellbent on only playing with their fingers?
     
  20. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    I should point out that I'm not saying the Black Crowes guy butchered The Lemon Song as in didn't have the technical proficiency - what I'm saying is The Lemon Song is a) a bass virtuoso performance, and b) largely improvised, but the guy fro the Black Crowes approached each verse the same.

    He technically pulled it off, but the whole reason I'd listen to The Lemon Song is to hear Jonesy doing his thing & this guy didn't put much of a stamp on it.

    Jonesy is also my favorite bass player & when I'm not doing my own thing - when trying to sound like a normal bass player, people accuse me of sounding like John Paul Jones (which I take as a great compliment). Though The Lemon Song is not exactly my style, so I'm not even sure where to begin with it (okay, learning the changes would be a good start) & have never tried to learn it.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.